Church of St. Cyril and Methodius
Just a few steps from the Charles Square you can find a church that played an important role in the events of WWII. Deep within this church were hidden Czech paratroopers, who had bravely assassinated one of Hitler’s top leaders – chief of SS and “Reichsprotector” Reinhard Heydrich. But before we get to that story, let us introduce you the history of the church itself.
The current church building was built between 1730-1736 by two architects – Pavel Ignác Bayer (died 1733) and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer, who finished the second part of its construction. At first It was dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo, a patron of the sick.
The church was a part of monastery for retired monks, which was unfortunately closed down in 1783 (during the reforms of Joseph II) and was turned into barracks and storage areas.
The Church was renewed after being given to the newly-founded Czech Orthodox Church (1933). During the Second World War a member of Czech resistance Jan Sonnevend with his pastor ThDr. Vladimír Petřek provided safe shelter to a group of Czech paratroopers, who successfully assassinated Reinhard Heydrich. That “safe shelter” was down in the church’s crypt. This place would have been impossible to find, however, one of the other paratroopers from an allied group betrayed them.
On June 18th, 1942, the church was surrounded by 700 German soldiers, who tried to capture the paratroopers alive. After a long brave fight, all of them died – some from their wounds, some by their own pistols, rather than being taken prisoner and tortured by the Gestapo.
There are plenty stories, related to the assassination known as operation Anthropoid, which your tour guide will gladly share with you on our Hammer and Sickle Tour.
Church of St. Cyril and Methodius info:
Address: Resslova 9, Prague
Map. Ref.: 50.0759125, 14.4169997
March – October
Tuesday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
November – February
Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Entry: 75 CZK adults, 35 CZK students